Miami Mayor Francis Suarez sees the city as a hotbed of innovation after a historical disbursement of MiamiCoin.
Suarez made the announcement via tweet, calling the cash-out from MiamiCoin a “historic moment,” writing in part that the city of Miami also “received its first-ever disbursement…totaling $5.25m” from the event.
What is MiamiCoin?
MiamiCoin ($MIA), the city’s own cryptocurrency as well as the first city in the U.S. to give its residents bitcoin as dividends from proceeds generated from its own cryptocurrency, is certainly groundbreaking and a step closer to falling into alignment with Mayor Suarez’ plan to transform Miami into the world’s “cryptocurrency innovation hub” and one that he claims could potentially be a city free from taxes.
MiamiCoin, which first launched back in August 2021, runs on the Stacks protocol partnered with CityCoins, a nonprofit and opensource protocol that runs on the Stacks (STX) blockchain that allows individuals to hold and trade crypto representing a stake in a municipality. In turn, this would allow users to mint new tokens and earn a percentage of the cryptocurrency they create, with the computer program automatically allocating 30% of the currency to a select city, while users retain the other 70 percent.
Miami’s reserve wallet automatically converts deposited tokens into U.S. dollars, with city officials having the authority to decide when to cash out, which as of Feb. 2, it just did for the first time.
Currently, the MiamiCoin has yielded $15 million in profits to the city in just four to five months, with every citizen receiving their distribution in their digital wallet.
“They are going to get something valuable that they can use for everyday things,” said Suarez in an interview with Fox & Friends.
If the yields grow, Suarez opines they could actually “run the city without taxes.” If the profits reach $450 million, they could actually use it to pay the city’s taxes and continue operating the day-to-day necessities.
“When you think about the possibility of being able to run a government without the citizens having to pay taxes. That’s incredible,” Suarez said back in September 2021, adding that the partnership [with CityCoins] creates a “counternarrative” to the idea that city programs require raising taxes or “private sector philanthropy.”
Since August 2021, MiamiCoin has appreciated 65.9%, according to Coinbase.
How Miami residents are responding
The residents of Miami “are incredibly excited,” according to Suarez. They are happy that Suarez is innovating and using next-generation technology in its journey towards becoming a hub of capital, rightfully positioned at the center of the economies of Silicon Valley, the Middle East, South America, and Europe.
“Miami is the city of choice for tech job migration,” says Suarez. “They have attracted $1.2T worth of invested assets. They’ve grown 200% in venture capital deals compared to this time last year.”
It’s clear that Miami has certainly benefited from MiamiCoin, which could incentivize other cities and municipalities to follow in its pathway to becoming everything the Mayor hopes it will be. For the moment though, the coins will be staked to earn revenue, which will be paid out as dividends to citizens in bitcoin.
Throughout Suarez’ tenure, he has continued to not only be a powerful advocate for bitcoin, but a strong voice in encouraging bitcoin miners to flock to Miami to take advantage of cleaner nuclear energy.
Unfortunately, state statutes do not allow cities to invest into volatile assets like bitcoin – yet, this could have been akin to MicroStrategy’s perspective of buying bitcoin with its cash reserves.
Mayor Suarez also highlighted the priority of paying government salaries in bitcoin – with him choosing to accept his salary in bitcoin. The Miami mayor was also a recent keynote speaker at the North American bitcoin conference that took place from Jan. 17 to 19.
He also was a keynote speaker at The North American Bitcoin Conference from Jan. 17-19, 2022, alongside billionaire investor Mark Cuban.
Whose Next? Philly, Austin, New York
Last November, New York City became the second city after Miami to launch its NYCCoin also in partnership with CityCoins, where similar to MiamiCoin, NYCCoin miners will receive STX and BTC rewards for supplying the city with tokens.
Earlier this week, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney endorsed the idea of also partnering with CityCoins to develop a crypto for Philadelphia. Adding support, the city’s chief information officer, Mark Wheeler also publicly shared in a tweet that “Philly is ready” and has the “[greenlight] to proceed.”
Adding to the growing list of cities, Austin, Texas has also entered into a partnership with CityCoins for its AustinCoin ATX, however, mining has not yet started.
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BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.